C-Sections and Postpartum Depression: Is there a link?


When Theresa over at The Healthy Baby Network asked me to write an article about the potential link between Postpartum Mood Disorders and Cesarean Sections, I was excited as it was a new area of research for me. I started out with the expectation of finding a definitive link. However, I failed to locate just such a link. Many of the research studies swing toward or away from a link. And one review study lacks a conclusive result in either direction.

Why is this? Why is there no proven link when repeatedly I have heard from mother after mother who had a cesarean section of the emotional struggles she has faced after the birth of her child? Of the trauma, the disappointment, the disbelief that birth did not go quite the way it should have?

Go read the article I wrote for Theresa over at The Healthy Baby Network and chime in with your thoughts. We would love to hear them!

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2 thoughts on “C-Sections and Postpartum Depression: Is there a link?

  1. The previous commenter seems to be on the right track. I wonder if there is a correlation between unplanned (i.e., emergency) c-sections and PPMD and how (if?) that compares to planned C-sections/vaginal birth/vaginal birth with trauma. I know in my case… and I am not completely sure I dealt with PPD due to all of the other things going on in my life directly after childbirth… I was very disappointed that I had to have a C-section.. not to mention the surgery itself was a little traumatic. It still bothers me *now* when thinking of whether I can do a VBAC. I have to think though that if I went into labor knowing I would have a c-section it would have been easier… then again, I wonder how strange it would seem to just go in and have a c-section without laboring beforehand too. Hmmm….. just my musings aloud today!

  2. Just a quick 2 cents… We know that it is not necessarily the logistics around a woman’s birth experience that can lead to postpartum PTSD, PPD, or PPA but her perceptions of that experience. In other words, with adequate support, education, information, debriefing, and care, a mom who has had a C-Section is not at a higher risk than a mom who had a vaginal birth. In fact, women who’s vaginal birth felt scary, under supported, or traumatic may be at a higher risk for developing a PPMD than a mom who had a C-Section with an opposite emotional experience and perspective. Perhaps that contributes to the research…
    Warmly as always-
    Kate Kripke, LCSW

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